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GANESH NAIK – A MAHA’NAIK’ – A SPECIAL REPORT ON THANE GUARDIAN MINISTER GANESH NAIK ON HIS BIRTHDAY

As the Navi Mumbai’s most beloved son and, now, Maharashtra State’s Environment, Excise and Labour Minister, Ganesh Naik exemplifies a moral integrity that shines far beyond Navi Mumbai. His life might have started like an ordinary man but he rose to become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances. Anyone who has had a chance to know the real Ganesh Naik is witness the story of how he turned myth into a man. Here is the story of a boy who was destined for something larger than his village, a boy who could not contain his wonder and curiosity about the world beyond the familiar. The circumstances of Ganesh Naik’s youth led him to walk paths that, today, make him a public leader who exemplifies courage, selflessness, exuberance, superhuman ability and amazing grace. And it is because of these very qualities that made a little boy from Bonkode village in Navi Mumbai grow up to become Environment, Excise and Labour Minister in the Government of Maharashtra. Perhaps his biggest achievement has been striking the perfect balance as a leader between the immigrants and the villagers in Navi Mumbai. While neighboring cities Mumbai and Thane fear linguistic divide of societies and minds – the citizens of Mumbai rest in the secure blanket that perhaps no other leader than Ganesh Naik provides to citizens hailing from any part of the country. If traits of brotherhood and communal harmony were sold like stocks and shares, Ganesh Naik would have been a millionaire ! Be it the State Excise Dept. revenue figure leaping from Rs. 1700 Crore to Rs. 4000 Crores or NMMC buying Morbe Dam for 24 hours water supply in Navi Mumbai or building the hi tech STP plants or NMMC’s School Vision or Garden Vision or given equal wages to contract workers in NMMC or FSI for old dilapidated CIDCO buildings and gaonthan areas, a cooperative society for the disabled and lepers – all are the brainchild of Ganesh Naik. Ganesh Naik is the State Environment Minister who does not hesitate to admit that quarrying for money was a mistake he regrets. Ganesh Naik is a visionary – a man who dares to dream of making the impossible, possible. The road for him has not been easy. Tormented by controversies, plagued by corruption among his followers; dogged by worries about delivering Ganesh Naik has become a wiser man. In the process he has undeniably made mistakes, based on a stubborn belief in himself. Yet his stature and integrity remain such that these failings tend to enhance rather than diminish his humanity. Ganesh Naik’s life is the extraordinary story of an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph, which even today remains virtually unknown to most of the world. To people around Navi Mumbai Ganesh Naik is a source of courage, determination and inspiration. To people around Navi Mumbai, Ganesh Naik stands for the triumph of dignity, triumph of self-discipline, triumph of love. To people around Navi Mumbai – Ganesh Naik is their great hero, their Maha’Naik’! And their great hero lives a simple life and has simple taste in food, hobbies and music !

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